Imagine There’s No Countries . . .

Considering the Possibility and Practice of Global Citizenship

Potential flaw of globalization?

Posted by anequidnimis on April 28, 2009

In an article by The Independent Here, some of the ways in which our world is becoming increasingly interconnected are discussed.  Many parellels are drawn between our current world state and computer networking, and with good reason–the similarities are very striking.  In networking, complex systems are often able to do much more than simple systems, and this is also true of our global economy.  In networking, a virus may infect subsystems, and, too, in our world, a virus may infect certain areas.  This, however, is not necessarily something to be concerned with; while a virus may affect more people, it also may have more researchers working on vaccinations or cures.  As something negative affects more areas, more attention is given to it, increasing the response.
However, near the end of the article, it is noted that there may be a heavy potential backlash to globalization because of a pandemic coupled with a financial crisis, citing incomplete information and herd behavior as contributors to this. As such, I urge each and every one of you to remain calm about this swine flu, and encourage actually looking into what swine flu is, rather than blindly guessing at what may cause it. I point you in the direction of the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as a level headed article by CTV.ca.  While increasing globalization may make all of us more susceptible to some diseases, by approaching it rationally and understanding what may cause these diseases (not pork, in the case of swine flu, as some may suggest), I am confident in the world’s ability to respond to such issues.

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2 Responses to “Potential flaw of globalization?”

  1. dgreening said

    The fact that globalization may lead to more global problems, such as a pandemic. However, the positive aspects of globalization, international trade and specialization and international collaborations on science and health issues among others, most likely outweigh the negatives of increased exposure to viruses. Globalization has indeed made us more susceptible to catastrophe. The economic crisis, triggered by the mindless and irresponsible profiteering of American financial institutions, deeply impacted the rest of the world. In the years before, though, the financial sectors of most other nations looked toward the U.S. for guidance. With regard to environmental catastrophes, globalization can only be seen as a positive. The tsunami of December 2004 destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, but how many more lives would have been lost without the $7 billion provided by the international community? The swine flu may spread easier due to globalization, but the participation and collaborative efforts of the global society have already helped alleviate the spread and virulence of the flu. The profits of globalization far outweigh the costs, and as you said, the world has ample ability to respond in a concerted effort to solve such problems.

  2. byersk said

    The informal name can be misleading. I pulled this exploration from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website:

    “This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs.”

    If you want to sound smart and less panicked, you can call it H1N1 rather than the swine flu.

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